Identifying districts with low literacy rates and increasing access to facilities for girls and disabled students are some of the recommendations made by National Law School of India University (NLSIU) before the Karnataka High Court for developing infrastructure in government schools..The Court had earlier sought the assistance of NLSIU for the same in the petition moved by Anti-Corruption Council of India highlighting the lack of infrastructure in government and aided schools across the State. .When the matter was taken up for hearing on Monday, a Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum was told that owing to some confusion, both the petitioner as well as the law school had filed separate road maps. .Advocate Aditya Narayanan, appearing for NLSIU, informed the Court that he would file a detailed chart of both the reports, thereby enabling the Court to pass appropriate orders in the matter. The petitioner was also invited to make comments on the road maps..Key Highlights of NLSIU's road map.The Centre for Child and the Law at NLSIU suggested the preparation of an action plan for 50 schools initially, and then similar plans for the rest of the 1,000 proposed government schools. The road map states that school-wise plans consisting of the specific intervention/construction work needed in each school, timeline and the budgetary allocation needed, should be prepared..Here is an overview of what the road map suggests:.Assessment of needs in schools: A comprehensive needs assessment is required to ascertain needs of all the schools and prepare the respective action plans. Data will have to be substantiated by visits to schools located in different geographical regions of the states. Suggested process of such needs assessment is as follows:- Data available on school infrastructure- Visits to schools to ascertain the actual status in terms of condition of infrastructural facilities and corroboration- Research on NEP and the new infrastructure requirementsBudgetary allocation: In the State Budget of 2021-22, ₹100 crore has been allocated for providing infrastructure to 50 Karnataka public schools. Apart from this, ₹88 crore has been allocated for maintenance of school buildings and ₹490 crore has been allocated for providing infrastructure facilities to primary, secondary and high schools. Budgetary allocations will require a review of the rationale of existing practices and will entail engaging an infrastructure development expert/construction company, the report stated.Prioritisation of geographical areas: Districts and taluks with low literacy levels may be prioritised for conducting detailed needs assessments, preparing action plans and rolling out the construction work. For instance, 11 districts (Yadgir, Raichur, Chamarajanagar, Gulbarga, Bijapur, Koppal, Bellary, Ramanagara, Bagalkot, Chikkaballapura and Mandya) have low literacy rates and construction work can be prioritised here.Field work: For the first 50 schools, the same may be completed in 7 months by 4 people including one Senior Researcher, one Junior Researcher, one documentation writer and two field investigators.Co-ordination with other departments: The action plan for provision of infrastructure needs to be evolved and implemented in coordination with all the concerned departments including the Departments of Women and Child Development, Public Instruction, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj. Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and local bodies should ensure the coordinated functioning in the given village or panchayat.School Development and Monitoring Committees which are responsible for monitoring the functioning of the school, preparing and recommending school development plans and monitoring the utilization of grants should be the monitoring authorities at the school level. They should ensure infrastructure facilities are provided and are put to good use in schools. They should make sure all facilities are maintained properly and should coordinate with PRIs.Access to facilities: Further, in the true spirit of the human rights based approach, access to all the facilities must be enabled for all groups, especially girls, children with special needs as well as those who are socially and economically marginalised. This inclusive approach must go beyond the tokenistic provisions. For instance, access for disabled children must not be limited only to the provision of ‘ramp and railings’ but must also manifest in all sections - such as classrooms, library, labs and toilets. For girls, infrastructure must facilitate functional toilets with water as well as provision of sanitary napkins..The matter will be next heard on November 12.